Bullying Prevention

The Student Services and Alternative Programs Branch staff provide leadership and technical assistance to local school systems to promote a safe environment conducive to learning and free from bullying and harassment.

In Focus


A student is bullied when he or she is exposed repeatedly and over time to intentional negative actions on the part of one or more students, and whose ability to participate in and benefit from the school’s educational programs or activities is adversely affected.  Bullying causes harm from repeated negative conduct in a relationship with an imbalance of power.

Bullying refers to conduct that:

  • Adversely affects a student's ability to participate in or benefit from the school's educational programs or activities;
  • Is a result of repeated negative actions (intentional, aggressive behavior) by one or more other students over time; and
  • Occurs in a relationship in which there is an imbalance of power.


A student is harassed when he or she perceives or actually experiences discomfort with identity issues in regard to race, color, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or other identifying characteristics, and whose ability to participate in and benefit from the school's educational programs or activities is adversely affected.  Harassment causes harm from discriminatory conduct that is pervasive or severe.




Contact Information
Deborah Nelson, Ph.D., NCSP
Section Chief, School Safety and Psychological Services
Division of Student, Family and School Support
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone:  410-767-0294
Fax:    410-333-8148
Email: deborah.nelson@maryland.gov